How Consumers Killed Customer Service - Page 2
Service Isn't Completely Dead... Yet
Despite the devastating effect of discounting on the market in general, there are still some remaining vestiges of service. The Apple Store, Lululemon, Nordstrom, and Publix Super Markets are a few names that consistently rise to the top in discussions on in-store experience. Their closest commonality apart from superior service is that none of them have staked their reputation on price; they haven’t allowed us to drag them into the mud like so many others. They prove that in a world of price promotion, it’s still possible to differentiate and create remarkable brand experiences that people will pay a premium for. Rarities like Southwest Airlines that manage to combine low price and great service are exactly that – rarities. In the vast majority of cases, we get exactly what we pay for (or don’t pay for) as it were.
The question we need to ask ourselves the next time we’re confronted with bad service is: would we pay more to have a great experience? Would we literally reach into our pockets and pay an extra 20 percent or more for excellent service? It’s not as easy a decision as one might think.
Trades and Concessions
For most of us it’s become a matter of making trades and concessions based on the type of product, the brand, or the store we choose to shop at. Just as we don’t expect the lowest price for a laptop at the Apple Store, we can’t in good conscience demand brilliant service at Sears, whose stores have become a virtual sea of sale banners. And if in fact we really can’t live with that trade-off, then I’m afraid we’ll need to rethink our definition of value as consumers and as a society.
51.8 Reasons to smile
If all we conclude from this study is that retailers scored 48.2 and “service stinks” then we lose again. The real story here is that there are 51.8 points of unclaimed turf for smart retailers who want it. The service gap has never been larger. Never have the opportunities to shine and create remarkable customer experiences been more abundant.
As far as I’m concerned that’s good news for the future of great retail.